The Motor Insurers' Bureau was not liable for damages arising out of a road traffic accident involving an insured driver because the injured party knew or ought to have known that the vehicle was uninsured.Appeal by the second defendant ('the MIB') from the decision of HH Judge Bishop sitting at the Guildford County Court on 8 March 2002 finding the MIB liable for damages arising out of a road traffic accident in which the first defendant 'T' had been the uninsured driver. The claimants were the relatives of G who was a passenger in the vehicle driven by T and was killed in the accident. There was no dispute that T acted negligently. On appeal the MIB disputed the judge's finding that it was liable for damages arising as a result of G's death because, the MIB argued, G knew or ought to have known that the vehicle was not insured. The MIB argued that the evidence before the judge was that the group of people who were in the car when the accident occurred knew that T was an uninsured driver since there had been a conversation concerning the issue by the group before they, including G, got into the vehicle. The MIB argued that there was no evidence to show that G did not hear that conversation but there was evidence that he had heard or at least was aware that the issue of whether T was insured had been discussed. Accordingly the MIB argued that it was not liable under the Uninsured Drivers' Agreement dated 21 December 1988, due to the provisions of cl.6(1)(e) which provided for an exception to the MIB's obligations under the agreement where the injured passenger "knew or ought to have known" that the vehicle was not insured.HELD: (1) The judge did not make any express findings of fact regarding who, out of the group of passengers, said what and in what circumstances. He did however have evidence to the effect that T had said in the presence of G that he did not have insurance to drive the vehicle, although T had said in evidence that he was not clear as to whether G had actually heard him say that. The judge however also had evidence concerning the conversation that took place within the group which was to the effect that T did not have insurance. Whilst there was evidence which pointed to G being able to hear conversations to the effect that T did not have insurance, there was no evidence which pointed to the effect that he did not hear those conversations. (2) On the basis of the evidence in the present case the judge applied too stringent a standard of proof. It was difficult to see how, on the balance of probabilities, G had not heard what was said in the conversation concerning T's position as to insurance. It followed that G knew, or ought to have known, that the vehicle was not insured. Put at its lowest he ought to have known that there was a problem with T's insurance and deliberately avoided turning his mind to the issue (White v White & anr (2001) 1 WLR 481. (3) Accordingly the present case was one which fell within cl.6(1)(e) and the MIB was therefore not liable.Appeal allowed.